4 to make Stars debut…Against Canada’s Le Rouges tomorrow

Phil Ofosu-Ayeh

Phil Ofosu-Ayeh

The four players – US based Llyod Ekow Sam and Kwadwo Poku, Phil Ofosu-Ayeh and former Kumasi Asante Kotoko defender Gideon Baah were mentioned in Grant’s final 19-man squad to face the Canadians in the first encounter between the two nations at this level.

The inclusion of the four is believed to have been caused by the absence of regulars like skipper Asamoah Gyan, Andre Ayew and Christian Atsu who are all suffering from various degrees of injuries.

With the call-ups to the team always rotating around the same players, the invitation presents the quartet the biggest opportunity to shine at this stage as they aim to secure permanent places in the team.

Sam and Poku have been quite enterprising in the Major League Soccer (MLS), the American top-flight this season, making their invitation a little surprise to the bookmakers.

It is also seen as the end result of the American tour embarked upon by Grant who aims to widen his scope as far as invitation into the team was concerned.

Lloyd Ekow Sam is an English professional footballer, who plays as a winger, very comfortable playing on either side of the pitch. He plays for the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer

Sam is eligible to represent either England or Ghana internationally. He has been capped once by England at U20 level. He was called up by Ghana during the 2009–10 season but had to pull out of the squad due to injury.

Kwadwo Poku, born July 10, 1992 is a Ghanaian professional who plays as a midfielder for New York City FC in Major League Soccer.

Philemon Ofosu-Ayeh is a German-Ghanaian footballer who plays for second Bundesliga side Eintracht Braunschweig.

Born in Moers to a German mother and a Ghanaian father, he was given a call-up to the preliminary Ghana U-20 squad for the 2011 African Youth Championship, but his club at the time, SV Wilhelmshaven, refused to give him permission to play at the tournament.

Baah is the most popular among the new group because of his affiliation with Kumasi Asante Kotoko. He currently plays as a defender for Finnish side, Veikkausliigaside Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi.

Sassuolo ace, Alfred Duncan gets a second chance with his call up to the Black Stars having failed to impress on his debut.

With the exception of the five new faces, there is a heavy presence of the usual squad as the likes of Razak Brimah, John Boye, Leicester City left-back Jeff Schlupp, Agyemang Badu and Afriyie Acquah take their respective places.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Razak Braimah (Cordoba, Spain) and Fatau Dauda (AshGold)

Defenders: Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew, USA), (Phil Ofosu-Ayeh, Eintracht Braunschweig, Germany), Jeffery Schlupp (Leicester City, England), Gideon Baah (HJK Helsinki, Finland), John Boye (Sivasspor, Turkey), Edwin Gyimah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa),

Midfielders: Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Afriyie Acquah (Torino, Italy), Mubarak Wakaso (Las Palmas, Spain), Lloyd Ekow Sam (New York Red Bulls, USA) Bernard Mensah (Getafe, Spain), Alfred Duncan (Sassuolo, Italy), and Kwadwo Poku (New York City FC, USA), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough)

Strikers: Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa, England), Abdul Majeed Waris, (Lorient, France) and David Accam (Chicago Fire, USA)

The match will kick off at 7:30pm at the RFK Stadium in Washington DC.

By Andrew Nortey

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